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‘Stranger Things 3’ Breaks Netflix Records

Season 3 is out! Spoilers, ahead!

Photo: AntMan3001 | Flickr.com | CC BY-SA 2.0

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Stranger Things Season 3 broke Netflix’s viewership records with over 40 million household accounts watching since its debut on July 4. Netflix adds that in just four days after the show’s release, 18.2 million of those household accounts finished the entire third season. 

The sci-fi show that explores the town of Hawkins, and the ‘Upside Down’ has beaten Netflix’s viewership records held by The Umbrella Academy, You, and Sex Education. The three latter shows only achieving more than 40 million views after a month since their debut.

The third season’s success may have secured the renewal of the series for its fourth season. Ross Duffer, one half of the show’s creator, has stated in 2017 that Stranger Things may be a four-season story. 

If you’re living under a rock, Stranger Things is a show about a group of kids living in a strange town called Hawkins. The kids investigate and have adventures (albeit, terrifying ones) with paranormal and supernatural incidents, including the sudden appearance of a weird girl with psychokinetic powers after their friend gets abducted by a creature from the mysterious “Upside Down.” Oh, and it’s set in the 1980s. 

With a hit TV series, the show’s casts shot to stardom. Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhand, Caleb McLaughlin, and Noah Schnapp made up the gang of the brave kids of Hawkins. Winona Ryder and David Harbour rounded out the cast, serving as the adult support system in the show. 

In season 2, Sadie Sink joined the gang. In season 3, look out for Priah Ferguson and Maya Hawke. 

The show was wildly successful when it was first launched last July 2016 on Netflix. Fans enjoyed the mix of sci-fi, mystery, thriller, and 80’s nostalgia in one binge-able show. 

The Duffer Brothers

The instant hit show was created by twins Matt and Ross Duffer, now widely known as the Duffer Brothers. The duo got their first break in Hollywood when they pitched a screenplay which Warner Bros Entertainment, Inc. won over other studios. Their screenplay was so good that they convinced Warner Bros. to let them direct it as well. 

The movie was titled Hidden. Filming began in 2012 and was completed in 2015. Unfortunately, the studio decided to have a limited release, and only a few critics were able to see it. 

Despite not having their movie’s theatrical release, the brothers landed a job as writers for Wayward Pines, an American thriller TV series based on Blake Crouch’s novels of the same name. 

The couple continued to write and decided to pitch a screenplay for their own TV show. They caught the attention of Shawn Levy, known for his direction of films such as Night at the Museum and Real Steel. 

The Duffer brothers, along with Levy, pitched a TV show concept that’s a mix homage to Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and the brother’s love for the 80’s era. Netflix loved it, and so did the rest of the world. 

Season 3 Recap

Here’s a look at the current season’s summary. 

Season 2 ended on a happy ending with the gang enjoying their time in the school dance. Little do they know the Mind Flayer, a powerful force from the Upside Down (and season 2’s main antagonist), was still alive and watching the town of Hawkins. 

In season 3, the plot thickens as to who is responsible for making portals to go to the Upside Down. Russian agents have now come to Hawkins and started working secretly at the newly constructed mall. 

Dustin, Robin, Steve, and Erica starts investigating the Russian agents and learns that there’s a secret lab below the mall. 

The Mind Flayer is alive and has been using the abandoned mill as its headquarters. It abducts Billy and possesses him. Billy starts abducting other townspeople so that the Mind Flayer can control them, too. 

Will can sense the Mind Flayer whenever it attacks others. He teams up with Eleven, and they try to fight the Mind Flayer. They were able to identify that Billy was possessed and attacked him. The Mind Flayer overpowered Eleven and almost killed her.

Using her powers, Eleven was able to find the Mind Flayer’s lair—the abandoned mill. However, during her search for the den, the Mind Flayer was able to read her mind, too. It knows where Eleven is and is now hunting her.

Eleven, Will, Nancy, and Jonathan goes to the mall to rescue Dustin, Robin, Steve, and Erica. They prepare to fight the Mind Flayer. Hopper and Joyce investigate the Russian agents through a trail of paperwork. They also rush to the mall to help the children fight. They come up with a plan to fight the Mind Flayer and destroy the machine building the portal below the mall.

In the end, Billy sacrifices himself to save Eleven from the Mind Flayer that still possesses him. Hopper also sacrifices himself to shut down the machine, which closed the portal and killed the Mind Flayer.

In the last scene, Eleven, Will, Jonathan, and Joyce leave the town of Hawkins.

Hi! I'm a contributing writer who loves tech, pop culture, and food. I'm also an ESL Teacher and a Photography Enthusiast.

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‘Recess’ Live-Action Remake Cast And Crew Do It For The Love, As Production Struggles With Funding

The team behind Recess remake shared hurdles and highlights their love and passion toward the hit 90s cartoon.

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All the 90s kids are now in the yard, as a tandem of independent Canadian filmmakers is bringing their favorite cartoon to life with the live-action remake of Recess. But they have a massive problem facing ahead: funding.

Produced by Director Jerome Yoo and Co-written by Kent Donguinez and Zlatina Pacheva, the new live-action show, promises that they will prioritize authenticity of the storyline and character’s accuracy above all.

“Expect for it to be character-accurate especially that our ensemble is composed by very familiar faces in the Vancouver film scene,” Kent Donguines, who co-produces and the show, told Z6Mag.

Recess is a 90s cartoon that used to be everyone’s ideal Saturday morning show back then. It revolves around the story of six fourth-graders at the Third Street School who made it their life mission to protect other kids in the playground against bullies — of course, during the recess period.

While everyone is much familiar about the story of popular and confident Theodore Jasper “T.J.” Detweiler, athletic Vince LaSalle, tough girl Ashley Spinelli, gentle giant Mikey Blumberg, genius Gretchen Grundler (Ashley Johnson), and shy new kid Gus Griswald, no one really knows what happens to them after fourth grade.

“One question continued to haunt us — what happened to the gang after 4th grade?” they shared in their pitch on IndieGogo. “Well, we’re here to answer that question for you! As filmmakers, we want to explore a more grown-up version of the show — same characters, different issues. A live-action, re-imagining of the gang in a high school setting tackling current issues like love, peer pressure, social media, identity, etc.”

The producers and writers of the live-action remake of Recess explore their curiosity on what’s next to the kids when they started high school. When asked what to expect of the show regarding its storyline, Donguines teased about how the “the Recess friends are finally reunited on screen.”

“At this point, I won’t sugar coat anything about what we’ve shot anymore. I just want the public to watch out for it,” Donguines added.

What they lack for money, they compensate with love

However, independent productions are always riddled with technical and financial constraints; and the producers of Live-Action Recess are no exemptions. Donguines shared to Z6Mag different challenges that they faced and are still facing for the project, and first on his list was “money.”

Donguines pointed out that one of their primary concerns for the show is for it to get enough funding. He highlights the fact that most of those who lead the project are immigrants, and that itself present some hurdles.

The project has set up a crowdfunding campaign to help finance their costs. However, as of writing, the team had raised only about $1000 of their $6836 goal, with only four days left before the campaign expires.

That is why Donguines and his team compensate for their lack of funding with talent and passion. He said that their team is mostly composed of volunteers, who like him and his co-producers, are fans of the original animated show.

“A huge challenge for us, as well, was putting together a team who are willing to give us their weekend voluntarily and making sure that they know what Recess is all about,” he said.

“[Their] way to show our love for Recess, and as fans, we just want to put something together that’s made out of love. Every member of the cast and crew of this project really love Recess; that’s why we brought it back to life,” the producer discussed.

He prides that the members of the new show’s cast are big names in Vancouver, with hopes that their fame would help the production regarding marketing and the general idea of “making it big.”

The roles, as Donguines said, would be played by Deadly Class‘ Benjamin Wadsworth as TJ, Sean Depner as Mikey, The Order‘s Louriza Tronco as Spinelli, Lillian Doucet-Roche as Gretchen, Fritzy-Klevans Destine as Vince and Clive Holloway as Gus.

“The Ashleys” clique will be played by Sydney Scotia, Brenna Llewellyn, as well as, Kelcey Mawema and Emilija Baranac, who’s best known for her role as Genevieve in the Netflix hit, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Of course, the gang won’t be complete without the playground snitch Randall, who’ll be portrayed by Netflix’s The Order, Adam DiMarco.

Nonetheless, Donginues remains optimistic amidst the challenges that are coming their way. He shared his hopes that their small project will be picked up by Disney and fund them for a bigger production.

“We hope that we will be able to reach Disney and have it picked up to produce a full live-action show officially. If not, we just want people to enjoy the show and experience nostalgia,” Donguines said.

IndieGogo Pitch Video for Live-Action Remake of Recess

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‘A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ Is Coming To Hulu

Don’t Panic and don’t forget your favorite towel.

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Photo: Jose Sa | Flickr.com | CC BY 2.0
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Executive producers Carlton Cuse and Jason Fuchs are creating a TV series adaptation of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in Hulu.

Cuse, the producer of Lost and Jack Ryan, and Fuchs, the producer of I Still See You and It Chapter Two, will team up as the series’ executive producers, showrunners, and writers. Fuchs, also known for his screenwriting for Wonder Woman, will write the pilot.

The series will be a collaboration between ABC Studios and Disney, the parent company of Hulu. Cuse, who owns Genre Arts production company, will be leading the production for the TV series adaptation.

The TV series will be a modern update of the classic science fiction tale. However, there is no news yet if there will be any changes to the characters or the main storyline.

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy focuses on the adventures of Arthur Dent, an Englishman who wanted to save his home from demolition, and Ford Prefect, an alien who is a contributor for the hitchhiking guide. Prefect saved Dent when intergalactic aliens demolished Earth.

Since then, Dent and Prefect were thrown into a big road trip across the universe. The duo meets Zaphod Beeblebrox and his companion Trillian and goes onboard The Heart of Gold, a ship powered by an Infinite Improbability Engine. A depressed robot named Marvin rounds out the unlikely group who travels to the legendary planet Magrathea for an exciting adventure.

Douglas Adams created the British series. It has been a significant part of British pop culture. The series has been adapted to different forms of entertainment; however, this is the first time it will be adapted into a TV series for the American audience.

The History of the Hitchhiker’s Guide

Adams created the A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in 1978 as a science fiction comedy radio series. It was broadcasted in the UK on BBC Radio 4. The radio series was successful in bringing wit and comedy in an out-of-the-box format.

The design of the drama was experimental with the use of its new music and sound effects. Adams’ was inspired by Pink Floyd and the Beatles, and wanted a rock album feel for the radio series. A second series was commissioned in 1980.

After the success of the first series, Adams adapted his story into a novel in 1979. It was also adapted into a TV show. The sci-fi series created four more books.

The novels are titled as The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and Mostly Harmless. A sixth novel installment, titled And Another Thing…, was written by Eion Colfer and released in 2009, eight years after Adams’ death.

Series’ Adaptations

The 1981 TV series focused on the first and second radio show adaptation. It starred Simon Jones as Arthur Dent and David Dixon as Ford Prefect. Mark Wing-Davey and Sandra Dickinson portrayed Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian. Marvin, the robot, was played by David Learner in a costume but was voiced by Stephen Moore. The show’s narrator was Peter Jones.

Aside from the TV series, the series was also adapted into a 1984 video game. The game was developed by Infocom and can be played on various platforms like Apple II, Atari ST, MS-DOS, and plenty more.

The most recent adaptation was the 2005 movie directed by Garth Jennings. It earned a $104.5 million with a budget of about $50 million. The reception was reasonably okay, but it wasn’t good enough to start a sequel.

Martin Freeman was perfect for the role of Arthur Dent. Freeman’s style of panicky and comedic acting worked well in personifying Dent. Mos Def (whose real name is Yasiin Bey) was Dent’s eccentric alien friend, Ford Prefect.

Sam Rockwell played Zaphod Beeblebrox with a second head under his neck. His relaxed and stylish demeanor perfectly portrays the character’s calm and adventurous side. When he asked about the charm of Zaphod, Rockwell said, “Zaphod’s very Bill Clinton, he’s a very charming guy. He has to be, that’s what it said in the book, so I had to pull it out of somewhere.”

Meanwhile, Zooey Deschanel was Trillian. Although Trillian’s love story was not one of the main plots in the novels, the romance was heavily laid down on the film. Deschanel said that she watched many movies as a reference for her love story scenes with Freeman and Rockwell.

Last but not least, Marvin the Robot was played by Warwick Davis. Stephen Fry also voiced the narrator for the film.

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Trump ‘Very Disappointed’ In Swedish Prime Minister For Inaction Over A$ap Rocky Case

#FreeRocky wants the rapper released on bail as he awaits court proceedings

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Source: Billboard
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US President Donald Trump sent out his frustration over Twitter regarding the Swedish Prime Minister after it failed to act on his request to release rapper A$ap Rocky from incarceration.

American Rapper A$ap Rocky, formally known as Rakim Athelaston Mayers, was recently charged with assault over a fight in Stockholm last month along with two other individuals.

Daniel Suneson, the prosecutor overseeing the rapper’s case said in a statement that he filed charges against the artist after “having come to the conclusion that the events in question constitute a crime and despite claims of self-defense and provocation.”

According to reports, the platinum-selling rapper was involved in a fight with another man as he was on his way to appear at a festival last June 30. In videos published on social media, Rocky was seen violently throwing a man to the ground although it was unclear who else was involved in the scene.

Currently, the artist has been in custody since July 3 and will remain there until trial. Meanwhile, the Stockholm District Court will have to set a date for the proceedings.

The rapper’s lawyer said that Rocky was acting in self-defense. “We think it was self-defense,” The rapper’s lawyer, Slobodan Jovicic said, adding that his client is “very disappointed” that the prosecutor has “chosen to go with the other party’s version” of events.

Based on the videos published online, one of them appeared that Rocky and his friends told two men to stop following them. However, reports said the two men alleged in the video hit one his security detail with a pair of headphones that eventually led to the fight in the first place.

In the caption for the first video, which Rocky posted on Instagram after the event, writes: “We don’t know these guys and we didn’t want trouble. They followed us for four blocks.”

In the second, he accuses the man of hitting his security guard “in the face with headphones.”

As an attempt to appease requests from the President to step in and help with Rocky’s case, Trump held a conversation with the Swedish Prime Minister and even vouched for the rapper promising that he will not be a flight risk if given bail and will be present once a date has been set for him to appear in court.

However, bails are not part of the Swedish criminal justice system, and the Prime Minister said he has no influence over the judicial process to grant his request.

In a tweet, President Donald Trump expressed his frustration over the inaction and even hinted that the Prime Minister was racist—calling for action to give equal treatment to all Americans.

“Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act,” Trump wrote. “Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly! #FreeRocky.”

In a second tweet, Trump added: “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden, but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem! #FreeRocky.”

In response, Löfven’s spokesperson Mikael Lindström said in a statement to an American outlet that all people in Sweden are equal before the law.

“All I can say at this point is that Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven have explained and emphasized the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts,” Lindström said. “The Government is not allowed, and will not attempt, to influence the legal proceedings, which are now ongoing.”

Notably, President Trump was urged by the first lady and celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West—who has famously worked with the Trump Administration with freeing incarcerated African Americans over charges regarding one-time drug offenses—to intervene to try to free Rocky.

Other celebrities have also expressed their concern such as Justin Bieber, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Nicki Minaj, and have all pushed for Rocky’s release.

There’s also an online petition to #FreeRocky and release him under bail, which has already accumulated over 500,000 signatures.

The trial is due to start in July 30.

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